Villarreal sign Argentina forward Cristian Espinoza to five-year deal

Villarreal have signed Argentina under-23 forward Cristian Espinoza for the next five seasons, the club confirmed.

Defender Aleksandar Pantic, 24, was also sent again on loan for the third season, this time to Alaves. Signed by Villarreal in 2013, Pantic has also had loan spells with Cordoba and Eibar.

Espinoza, 21, is currently playing for the Albiceleste at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and will be presented and join up with the Yellow Submarine in late August.

The highly regarded youngster, who was reported to be a target of Atletico Madrid earlier this summer, has played three seasons in Argentina's Primera Division with Huracan, scoring 14 goals with 23 assists.

Villarreal did not confirm the terms of his contract, but reports in Argentina say that Villarreal have paid the player's €7.2 million release clause.

Villarreal have already signed Roberto Soriano, Denis Cheryshev, Alfred N'Diaye and Alexandre Pato this summer as they look to build on last season's fourth-placed finish in La Liga.